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Pamela Galli

Another freakish upload bug

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So I want to upload this window individually -- I had uploaded it with the house, LI of 2, LOD not very good - to improve the LOD a little bit.

So as usual I ignore that the loader thinks this mesh has a huge number of vertices.

I look at the default models shown in the uploader and notice that even with thousands of vertices at the medium and low levels, the model for the bottom three LODs is: one triangle.

Yes, so in the model window you can see a window for the high LOD and all the others one triangle.

 

But that's not even the wierd part, that's just normal for the uploader.  The really weird part was when I started adding vertices so I could get something besides one triangle for a model.  And that works until I get to a certain number, then POOF reverts to a triangle -- and yes I reproduced it several times.

Now look at the numbers for teh LOW model and the corresponding picture, in order:

 

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 9.03.11 PM.png

 

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 9.03.24 PM.png

 

 

 

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 9.03.52 PM.png

 

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Hmmm... I have no explantion about the weird behavior but there is one thing I know for sure (...so far) and that is that the numbers of triangles and vertices are always correct in the uploader. If you "triangulate" your mesh in Blender (CTRL+T), the numbers of faces and edges appear respectively as triangles and "vertices" in the uploader.

If the numbers are not correct, it means that the uploader does not like your file and you should not go on as some of the most "interesting hidden features" are to be expected... if you see what I mean.

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Weird! Sorry I don't know what the *beep* is going on there but notice your window is 14413 tris?

Maybe you might have secret reason for that :matte-motes-wink: and if so say no more...

but it probably can be reduced hugely.

From the look of the geometry involved you could probably execute the same exact look with a few hundred tris... I'm thinking either your curve at the top is oversmoothed (easy way to accidentally use up many tris) or you must have a whole lot of hidden triangles (probably degenerate triangles) somewhere on the model that could probably be safely deleted.

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WADE1 Jya wrote:

Weird! Sorry I don't know what the *beep* is going on there but notice your window is 14413 tris?

Maybe you might have secret reason for that :matte-motes-wink: and if so say no more...

but it probably can be reduced hugely.

Oh I am pretty well skilled in optimizing mesh, and would not have high poly window like that, hence I said
"So as usual I ignore that the loader thinks this mesh has a huge number of vertices."

That window has 373 faces, actually. Here it is at high LOD:

 

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 10.29.37 PM.png

 

No as I say I am never surprised to see some little low-ply meshs show up in the uploader with thousands of tris -- that's just standard.

But with that window I tried different LODs and they would switch back and forth between triangle and model as I turned the tris up.

Is anybody at LL in charge anymore, does anyone keep up with mesh, does anyone care about these bugs?

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Doh :matte-motes-mad: I missed you did say that! I haven't used the uploader very much.

Wow that's a very pretty window BTW, much better than I imagined from the preview. Nice work!

If that's not just a faulty count & there really is that much extra tris being generated by the uploader, that's rather atrocious!

I think back when I made my birds the count matched up, but I'm used to building for mobile devices which are very restrictive. It's probably something picky to do with the way triangle stripping is done in the uploader, that could be made much more friendly.

Probably could have been fixed if the mesh team hadn't been given such tight deadlines, but since Lindens seem far too unfocused/incapable/unwilling to ever get SL onto mobile devices it probably doesn't really matter if all UGC here is unnaturally heavy.

Desktops can just grind along rendering tens of thousands of unneeded hidden tris artifacts & the few people that stick around SL for more than a few minutes don't seem to mind being tied to a desk slugging along at < 15 FPS.

As far as i know, the Lindens which brought us mesh were let go the moment they completed the project, that's just how things work at the lab now. Hired and fired on a per job basis, so I'd expect no bug fixes to this uploader ever. Rumor has it that the majority of the remaining Lindens are busy making premium 'games', or working on other new products which have nothing to do with SL.

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Except LL seems to have an unusual definition of "finished". Imagine if you and I put products out there in that state and called them "finished".

 

The thing about that window, too, is that the Medium level was a very large level of degradation from the High (even with all those alleged tris).

I just get used to so many of my work tools being crap in SL. I make up for it the best I can with my hardware but not much else to do.

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Hi.

I have NEVER seen an inconsistency between the (effective) number of vertices shown in the uploader and the true number of vertices as calculated for the model. Note that the number of vertices is not the same as shown in blender. The reason for this has been explained multiple times by Drongle :)

So if you face such a huge number of vertices, then something must be hidden in your model. It would be interesting to take a look at one of those blend files as i have no idea what actually could cause such behaviour but i am curious enough to learn how you get there :)

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To give you some idea -- see the face count. There are 434 vertices. It is not a very neat mesh, I will admit, but an almost 18,000 vertex penalty seems a bit extreme.

I get these kinds of numbers routinely.  I mean, at least half the time.  When I have reported them here, I think there has been some kind of explanation of why it might be, but nothing I rememeber, so I just ignore them.  As you can imagine, trying to get anything uploaded with an acceptable LI is difficult.

 

Screen shot 2012-05-01 at 4.41.45 AM.png

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i believe that the problem is very hidden. otherwise you would see immediately from where it comes. So i still think the problem is in the model or in the exporter, but not in the uploader. looking at the blend file would still help more than guessing :)

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The thing that strikes me is that you havea triangle count of 107 in the lowest LOD where the maximum is set to 0. I think this shows something wrong. It should reduce to (close to) one per material. This suggests that you have multiple (blender) objects in the upload. Is that the case? This may well contribute to the observed effects.

The automatic LODs will never produce acceptable results for this kind of mesh. They work especially badly for multiple objects where the triangle reduction is applied to the whole assembly, not separately to the parts. It is also documented that the (non-LL) GLOD library used is non-deterministic, which means it can produce different results for successive applications to identical data.

Thus there really is no alternative to making custom LOD meshes. The auto LODs can reasonably be used for seeing the effect of different triangle reductions on download weight, but are almost never good enough for a final product. Windows are especially suited to efficient LOD meshes because the lowest LOD can usually be a simple two-sided rectangle with an alpha texture picture of the window, making for a very low LI. (If the window is huge, just use that for the low LOD as well).

A note on the increase in counts in the uploader compared to Blender - the vertex count gets increased by sharp edges and by UV seams and fragmentation of UV maps. This should not affect the triangle count. You can see the triangle count in Blender by converting faces to triangles (temporarily, ctrlZ to revert). The same triangle count should show up in Blender and the uploader. If not, there is something wrong (I think).

In that case, your picture shows 372 faces, which could not be more than 744 triangles even if all those were quads (which they are not), but the uploader sees 14413. That again suggests that the upload contains additional objects. What are the light green-blue lines I can see in this picture?

 

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The little blue/green lines look like they are from the option to show 'normal' direction within blender... But I'm currently on a cell phone, so kinda struggling to see :-P

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

What are the light green-blue lines I can see in this picture?

 

Object groups are outlined in that color.

 

I have one more thought about unintentionally exported objects:

At one point during development of the SL Collada addon my tool unintentionally exported "hidden selected" objects along with the "visible selected" objects. That was a bug in my own code. But maybe something along this line is the problem in this case ? Maybe you have selected some objects in another layer and unintentionally export them ?

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Yep, I've not used Blender yet to make any meshes, but even in 3ds Max, I've uploaded models where I had verts that I have forgotten about. Usually this happens when I do exactly what Pam is doing, uploading only a portion of the total model. Also, I just would not trust any uploader than LL's. Heck, I mean, the LL's uploaders are buggy. How the heck can any1 expect consistant results from a TPV?

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There are no doubles, no loose vertices, no interior faces. I uploaded the window 3 times yesterday to test the LOD and there was nothing else uploaded with it. I do have face normals showing.

It is what it says it is -- a 372 face window.  I am using Phoenix -- because the uploader is SO much more reliable and easy to use, to name but one reason (the other being that if you are a builder, V3 is crap).

If the uploader is confirmed to be perfect, then that leaves the collada exporter -- I am using Blender 2.61.

And as I say, this is not just this mesh, this is routine. I often get these kinds of upload numbers -- as much as half the time, I would say.

 

 

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Show us a blend file where this problem occurs... That will probably help us to help you. Just guessing doesn't seem to be an efficient method here :) I am almost sure the problem can be best located by inspection ...

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

 

Thus there really is no alternative to making custom LOD meshes. The auto LODs can reasonably be used for seeing the effect of different triangle reductions on download weight, but are almost never good enough for a final product. Windows are especially suited to efficient LOD meshes because the lowest LOD can usually be a simple two-sided rectangle with an alpha texture picture of the window, making for a very low LI. (If the window is huge, just use that for the low LOD as well).

I have had very bad luck, early on, making custom LODs -- with furniture -- so I stopped.  With this house, I just uploaded the whole house and used the auto LOD and everything looks fine when my LOD level is set to 3 on Phoenix, except for the windows.  That's why I was uploading them separately.  I think I got a pretty good result but it did occur to me that for the lowest two levels I could use a picture of teh window as it will look when it has the "closed curtain" -- but I realized I am not clear how I would get the texture on it. Apply it in Blender and import it with texture?

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But no one seems very interested in how the model flips back and forth from one triangle to several.

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It's kind of hard to determine what is wonky if you are using a TPV, and even harder for a 1.23 version. I'm not saying you are wrong, to use it, just that very few people are using that uploader, so there could be many issues in it that none of us know about.

As for LODs, I'm kind of like you. Why spend all that time of LODs when the uploader can give me something decent and I don't have to worry about materials and all that. Yeah, you can save some verts, and you can get a better LOD at times, but the effort is usually not worth the time. Some things tho, do almost require you to make custom LODs, or at least the low and lowest. These are usually items that have very low geometry in some areas and high geometry in others, cause the uploader doesn't know to take more verts from the high geometry area. And actually, the old uploaders were 10 times better than what we have now, reguarding LOD creation. I have no idea why LL changed it to this limited version. I never even heard a conversation about it.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

It's kind of hard to determine what is wonky if you are using a TPV, and even harder for a 1.23 version. I'm not saying you are wrong, to use it, just that very few people are using that uploader, so there could be many issues in it that none of us know about.

As for LODs, I'm kind of like you. Why spend all that time of LODs when the uploader can give me something decent and I don't have to worry about materials and all that. Yeah, you can save some verts, and you can get a better LOD at times, but the effort is usually not worth the time. Some things tho, do almost require you to make custom LODs, or at least the low and lowest. These are usually items that have very low geometry in some areas and high geometry in others, cause the uploader doesn't know to take more verts from the high geometry area. And actually, the old uploaders were 10 times better than what we have now, reguarding LOD creation. I have no idea why LL changed it to this limited version. I never even heard a conversation about it.

As the song goes, "if using a TPV is wrong, I don't wanna be right". Something like that. If I did use one it would be Firestorm but last time I tried it, I crashed on mesh upload (on my iMac).

 

Yes my experience with auto vs custom LODs has matched yours. If I saw some benefit I would do it, but what I have seen is not pretty, without going into detail.  But with windows I can see some benefit.

 

 

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Pamela, one quick question: Would you like that bug to get fixed, or are you just here to complain?

If you want it fixed, you need to be more proactive. Grab the official LL viewer to compare and find out whether this problem is specific to the TPV you are using. Then file a bug report at the appropriate place and attach your .dae file so that the developers can look at it.

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Masami Kuramoto wrote:

Pamela, one quick question: Would you like that bug to get fixed, or are you just here to complain?

If you want it fixed, you need to be more proactive. Grab the official LL viewer to compare and find out whether this problem is specific to the TPV you are using. Then file a bug report at the appropriate place and attach your .dae file so that the developers can look at it.

I don't care if these two bugs get fixed, really, since they are merely annoying and do not affect my build, so I am here to complain.

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I don't think I will ever agree with you and Medhue about the auto LODs. The only cases where I have found them acceptable is with things like rocks, where it doesn't really matter what triangles are removed/merged. Everyone must make up their own mind on that one. However, I would not be thinking of an oberver with rendeVolumeLODFactor of 3, because the default for anything but high graphics settings is 1.25 (last time I looked). That can make a big difference in what is acceptable. For high, it's 2. It's true that most people who know and care generally use a higher setting, but many users, especially those on less powerful machines, will be likely to be using the defaults.

To use a picture at lowest LOD, you have to* have it on a separate material. The higher LODs have to have a small hidden triangle to carry the low LOD texture. I never upload textures with the model, so I have two ways of placing this texture. Either first texture the whole model with it, then put the appropriate textures on the approriate faces visible at the high LOD; or texture it as usual and then set renderVolumeLODFactor to 0 so that you can put the low LOD texture on the lowest LOD mesh directly. However, I don't see why there should be any problems with uploading the texture with the mesh, as long as you remember to apply it to the hidden triangle.

*well, you don't absolutely have to, with appropriate UV mapping, you can have it as part of a single texture together with the high LOD textures. The trouble with that is that the whole thing has to be alpha (assuming the glass is transparent), and that gives alpha sorting glitches unless you are very clever. This was discussed in more detail in an old thread.

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LODs - I guess it depends on what you are aiming for and maybe what you will except. There are lots of factors to take into consideration. How is the product going to be used? What are the current standards? How does the end product compare?

Here is my own version of a tommy gun and it's LODs, or similar to what I had when I first uploaded it. I think we had the old uploader then, cause on the actual gun, they do look a bit better.

LODsforTommygun.jpg

 

Now, considering the distances that those LODs will be viewed at, I'm not too worried about these results. The gun ends up as 9 prims, which is a heck of alot lower than any other tommy gun on the market. Sure, If I made custom LODs, then I could get every LOD to look a bit better, but I have many more guns to make. Plus, you must consider how many you will sell and the selling price. If I spend more time on this, I'm likely going to charge more for it.

Just some thoughts really.

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Masami Kuramoto wrote:

Pamela, one quick question: Would you like that bug to get fixed, or are you just here to complain?

If you want it fixed, you need to be more proactive. Grab the official LL viewer to compare and find out whether this problem is specific to the TPV you are using. Then file a bug report at the appropriate place and attach your .dae file so that the developers can look at it.

I don't care if these two bugs get fixed, really, since they are merely annoying and do not affect my build, so I am here to complain.

Just curious: For what reason do you complain if you don't care to get this fixed ?

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Drongle McMahon wrote:; or texture it as usual and then set renderVolumeLODFactor to 0 so that you can put the low LOD texture on the lowest LOD mesh directly.


Ohhhhh okay gotcha, thanks!

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